The Book: Keys Cuisine: Flavors of the Florida Keys (1991)
With the weather finally creeping into if not summer, at least spring, I pulled Keys Cuisine from the shelf hoping for something tropical, exotic, spicy, tangy. I spent several years in South Florida, most of the time entirely besotted with the array of flavors newly available to me. There I first savored anón (sweetsop) sorbet, Brazilian feijoada, Cuban pastelitos of guava and cheese, sweet-starchy boniato, smoked marlin spread, alligator fritters and roast suckling pig slathered in mojo criollo. Anyone who knew me then—and who wasn’t in Miami being dragged through Latin grocery stores and into every hole-in-the-wall eatery in town—remembers getting little but a litany of food stories from me.
So imagine my disappointment when Page 227 of this book turned out to feature something I could find in your basic church cookbook: strawberry bread. Sigh. Compounding my misfortune and mocking me from the facing page was a recipe for passion fruit bread.
Now, there is nothing wrong with strawberry bread. It’s not lemon bread, of course. But as far as fruit quick breads go, it’s fine. (Though it seems a shame to bake fresh strawberries and disguise them with cinnamon when one could make pie or shortcake . . . or daiquiris.)
Still, if you find yourself with loads of strawberries and minimal freezer space (or drinking buddies), this is an easy and reasonably tasty option. Though it’s nothing to call home about.